If you work with teens then you know you have to have some environment that is your place to connect with them. You have to have a place where teens invite their other friends to come and connect. At relevant student ministry we found our place to connect is in our weekly gathering called REMIX and oddly enough Sunday mornings at Grace Community. In both environments we see tons of teens show up and we have the chance to connect with and serve them. Last night at REMIX we had 4 first time quests and that is such the norm. It is so incredible to get to connect with new kids each week. We place a ton of energy into making the first time experience GREAT! It is amazing that the invite and invest process keeps working and we see tons of teens moving forward in their spiritual journey.
We have a big event this weekend called MERGE (very dnow like) and I have to keep reminding myself that our events are not our open door! Some of you use events as the place to connect with teens for the first time but we think that event driven outreach brings kids into a experience that is not and can not be replicated on a weekly basis. Camp is great but camp is not what happens week to week in the flow of our ministry. Our 2 retreat weekends a year here at relevant are about our weekly leaders getting away and investing into teens, disciplining teens, caring for teens. Teens come because they want to and they know it has a purpose. It makes for an amazing retreat but this strategy puts a hunger in my heart for our teens not to miss it. i fight the urge to be consumed y who is not there! I know a single weekend could change the course of a teens life. I know God could take what we have been investing week in and week out and bring it all full circle on a weekend. My hunger at each retreat is just to get teens who have bought in at relevant to take time to come. The hard part is the youth ministry reality…TEENS ARE BUSY and it is hard for them to commit to any kind of retreat. Sounds familiar to asking any adult to get away for anything. It never changes! So our plan is to celebrate every moment with every teen that is with us this weekend. It is going to be amazing and I feel like we are working within our strategy and seeing lives changed by God.
I personally am stoked to have new kids show up every Sunday and Wendnesday and not just for a weekend experience. Thanks to all of the teens at REMIX and GCC that keep spreading the word and trusting us enough to invite your friends!